Taste Test: Gluten-Free Stuffings
For many people, stuffing is the best part of the meal! But steering clear of gluten doesn’t mean missing out on this fragrant, bready side dish. Aside from making your own gluten-free stuffing (thanks, Gluten-Free Girl!), you can choose from a few store-bought mixes.
We ranked the easiest-to-find gluten-free stuffing mixes based on nutrition, taste, texture and price. On the nutrition front, the most-important things to look out for in stuffing are calories, fat, sodium and fiber (and whether they’re made using whole grains). A few tester notes: If given the option to go stovetop or oven, choose the oven — you'll get a better texture.
Per serving (29 g, 1/2 cup dry mix): Calories 160 (210 prepared); Fat 5 g; Sodium 370 mg; Fiber 4 g
Healthy Eats Take: This wins for easiest to assemble. The stuffing mix includes dehydrated mushroom and celery pieces, as well as chicken fat, so all you need to do is add water and melted butter. Since the veggies are already in the mix, they’re less noticeable, and the overall flavor is one note: salt. This one has the most fiber, though — possibly because of the inclusion of veggies in the mix.
Per serving (28 g, about 1/2 cup dry mix): Calories 120 (190 prepared); Fat 4.5 g; Sodium 480 mg; Fiber less than 1 g
Healthy Eats Take: This was by far our favorite: The texture was light and fluffy, and since this one calls for it to be baked, it had a nice crispy exterior and soft filling. The flavor was also very good — more nuanced than the Trader Joe’s stuffing, although still quite salty.
Per serving (45 g, 3/4 cup dry mix): Calories 190; Fat 7 g; Sodium 190 mg; Fiber 3 g
The flavor in this one was bland, although it did win points for having the least sodium of the mixes. Texture-wise, it was a little heavy and broke apart easily. That's a shame, because it wins on nutrition! The whole-grain flour blend used in the croutons includes millet, garbanzo beans and sorghum, giving this stuffing the most fiber. Plus, it is a good choice for avoiding other potential allergens (no dairy, eggs or soy).
Per serving (45 g, 1/2 cup dry mix): Calories 130; Fat 1 g; 210 mg sodium, 4 g fiber
This one is tied with the TJ’s mix for convenience — making it is as easy as boiling water, adding the stuffing mix and stirring until the water is absorbed. The flavor is strongly herby, with a prominent sage taste, and has a perfect balance of salt. The texture is very soft, however, breaking apart too easily in the mouth.
Per serving (14 g, 1/2 ounce): Calories 60; Fat 1 g; Sodium 150 mg; Fiber 0 g
Aleia’s Savory Stuffing has the most-fragrant spice blend of the bunch. To concoct this stuffing, there’s more prep work: dicing carrots, onions and celery; melting butter, adding stock and baking the whole thing, but the result is super-tasty (although a tad salty). Don’t let the low nutrition values fool you, though — the serving size on the package is half that of the others, plus you add 5 tablespoons of butter to the mix. Made from rice flour, it also lacks fiber. But this is the one we’d splurge on as a treat. The texture is light and fluffy, with nicely distinct, crunchy croutons on top.